Extracts from Ray Simpson's Book
More sayings from the desert
An honest answer is a sign of true friendship.
If you have a chest full of clothing, and leave it for a long time, the clothing will rot inside it. It is the same with thoughts in our heart. If we do not carry them out by physical action, after a long while they will spoil and turn bad.
When someone wants to return evil for evil, they are able to hurt their neighbour’s conscience even by a single nod.
As wax is melted before a fire, so is the soul enfeebled by praise, and loses the toughness of its virtues.
Unless a person says in their heart, ‘I alone and God are in this world’ they shall not find quiet.
Abba Arsenius was taking counsel with an old Egyptian man. Someone said to him "‘Abba Arsenius, how is it that you, such a great scholar of Latin and Greek, should take counsel from this countryman?’ Arsenius answered, ‘It is true I have acquired the learning of the Greeks and the Latins, as this world goes; but the alphabet of this countryman I have not yet been able to learn.’
We do not go in to the desert to escape people but to learn how to find them.